Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

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Greenery and Urban Form vs. Health of Residents: Evaluation of Modernist Housing in Lodz and Gdansk

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Abstract:  Urban forms can have numerous direct and indirect effects on the health of residents. This article focuses on the relationship between health and urban form, in particular the role of green open spaces. The goal is to identify criteria for evaluating the impact of physical forms such as streets and open spaces, green infrastructure, and built structures on urban health. These criteria are then used to identify paths for the redevelopment of modernist housing estates with the aim of improving living conditions. This challenge remains particularly significant in Poland and Eastern Europe, where a large share of the urban population lives in modernist blocks of flats. First, we examine the modernist housing concept in Europe and Poland and the guiding principles for their development, including the role of green, open spaces. Then, we refer to several studies on urban health to identify normative factors that define the open space design conditions in modernist housing estates. We apply the typo-morphological approach with qualitative and quantitative assessment of building forms and forms of green open spaces to examine the structures of two modernist housing estates in Poland: Lodz and Gdansk. We evaluate their living conditions, especially the organisation of outdoor space, in terms of their impact on the health of residents. A comparison of the two housing estates reveals common factors defining the relationship between urban form and health.

Keywords:  Gdansk; healthy cities; Lodz; modernist housing; Poland; urban form; urban morphology



© Małgorzata Hanzl, Magdalena Rembeza. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.